Why are toxic dyes in food allowed in the US and banned in the UK?


In a never ending pursuit for profit, American companies like Kellog, Kraft and General Mills continue to use dangerous food dyes despite reports linking the chemicals to some types of cancer and causing childhood problems like hyperactivity, bedwetting, and more. EU regulators require foods containing chemical food dyes to carry a warning label. Since that would deter customers, the US food giants gave into the demands of proven safety in Europe and eliminated the chemical dyes from their products sold overseas, replacing them with natural food dyes made from plants. These companies find it too hard to part with the half-penny per box profit they generate by keeping the dyes in the US food supply and protect consumers and children by using plant based dyes like those sold in the UK.


United States food giants have the blessing of our government’s administration to use the chemicals, as the FDA gives dyes a GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status.  The FDA even words the status loosely, “generally” recognized as safe; that word indicates a lack of certainty on the matter since the dyes have never actually been proven safe. This green light from the FDA is why consumers’ intake of food dyes have increased five times in the last 30 years. Interesting how in the last couple decades, as marketing colorful foods to children became regular practice for these companies, childhood behavioral disorders has skyrocketed. That’s convenient for the corporate giants as now drug companies can market mind numbing pills to our children with the promise to quell this new surge of troubled youth inflicted with the dreaded ADD.


As I left the supermarket today, there was a box of food dye sitting out of place near the checkout; I couldn’t help but imagine who was going to buy it, knowing someone would unknowingly be loading their family up with these chemicals in holiday sweets. While you can’t go around putting poison stickers on every prepackaged fake food product that sits on grocer’s shelves (which was a fleeting thought as I stood in line waiting to check out) you can take measures to protect your family by offering them a diet of whole, organic foods and educating your friends and extended family who may be unaware of what lurks inside processed foods.




“In Europe manufacturers need to prove an ingredient is SAFE beyond a shadow of a doubt for it to be approved for use.

In the US, researchers need to prove an ingredient is DANGEROUS beyond a shadow of a doubt for it to be banned.”